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5 British Entrepreneurs Share the Worst & Best Parts of Being Their Own Boss

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What is the best part of working for yourself? And what’s the hardest part? Identifying the challenges and the wins of owning your own business keeps it real and allows you to find a reasonable balance of ups and downs. Entrepreneurs in the QB Community UK share their favorite and least favorite aspects of going solo.


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Name: Michael Gratz

QB Community member name: @mgratz

Business: Prairie Fire BBQ   

Location: London, UK

Launched: 2013

 

Originally from Kansas City, USA, Michael Gratz found himself disenchanted with his job as a banker. When he and his wife moved to London in 2012, Michael found the city lacking in American-style barbecue. Add that to Michael’s love of cooking, and a delicious idea was born. Today he and business partner, Eric Rosenberg, operate pop-up restaurants, trade at street food markets and create a retail line of sauces and rubs - all in the traditional Kansas City-style.

 

Worst Part:It’s very challenging shouldering all the responsibility of the success of the business. There is no room for procrastination, and stress is something you definitely need to manage.”

 

Best Part: “I Iove being my own boss, making decisions and driving the business in the direction I choose. I get to do the important, non-work things in life like taking my son to school each morning.”

 

Read Michael’s full story here


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Name: Anna Grint

QB Community member name: @AnnaGrint

Business: Albetta,

Location: Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, UK

Founded: 2013

 

After ten years in advertising and marketing in London, Anna changed her career course when she had children and began working for a friend. That friend started an ethically-accredited clothing and accessories business in Vietnam which became Albetta. Anna brought Albetta over to the UK, where their line of children’s clothing, toys and accessories are sold online and in shops throughout the UK.  

 

Worst Part: “My business partner Annabel travels a lot, so I’m very often making decisions without a sounding board. It sounds ideal not to have to gain agreement by committee -- and often I relish it! -- but on occasions it’s hard to take all of the responsibility.”

 

Best Part: The flexibility to choose your working hours to fit family life around work; the knowledge when everything is running successfully that you’re behind it all; the passion and excitement you feel about new opportunities.”

 

Read Anna’s full story here


luna_headshots.pngNames: Lucy Watts & Nadia Matthews

Business: Luna Stationery

Location: London-based online retail

Launched: 2015

 

Lucy and Nadia, longtime friends and co-workers, combined their love for design and their first names to create Luna Stationery (LUcy and NAdia). These advertising producers still have their day jobs, so they work double-duty to get their brand of highly-curated stationery out into the world. The dream is to one day open a brick-and-mortar shop. Until then, these two go-getters will continue writing their own ticket -- on beautiful paper, of course.

 

Worst Part: “We are still striving for the day when we can work full-time for Luna Stationery. We’d love our own brick-and-mortar shop where we imagine a world of amazing stationery, long hours and George Michael permanently on the stereo!”

 

Best Part: “Starting a business is tough work, but we get so much enjoyment from being creative and being in charge of what we choose to sell. We've learned we must stay positive and true to what we set out to do. And we always make sure we laugh as hard as we work!”

 

Read Lucy and Nadia’s full story here


bamford_vaughn.jpgName: Vaughn Wolfe

 

Business: Bamford and Wolfe  

Location: London, UK

Launched: 2017

 

Originally from Seattle, USA, Vaughn founded his own beauty line in 2001 when he realised the products he was looking for weren’t available on the market -- so he created them himself. Once he arrived in the UK, he did it again, developing his own natural body scrubs as Bamford and Wolfe.

 

Worst Part: “I have to be really flexible, because every day is different and presents different challenges. But, that’s the beauty of working for yourself.”

 

Best Part: “Being my own boss is great because it gives me a lot of freedom. With that freedom comes great responsibility, which keeps me on my toes!”

 

Read Vaughn’s full story here


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Name: Faye Macis

QB Community member name: FayeMacis

Business: Little Happy Candles

Location: London

Launched: 2016

 

Faye and her business partner/husband, Luca, sells a wide range of unique smelling candles and melts. The enticing scents range from floral (think daffodil, rose) to fandom-inspired (“Lannister Juice” smells of mulled wine) to the downright quirky (“Monkey Fart” is a fragrant blend of tropical fruits!).

 

Worst Part: “There are so many things to do behind the scenes, such as balancing the books and doing copious amounts of product testing. Testing can be especially trying - it’s disheartening when a potential new product isn’t working after feeling excited about it and then pouring hours and money into its development.”

 

Best Part: “Being your own boss is empowering. I’ve gained so much confidence in myself and my products! I love that I can be creative and come up with ideas with little holding me back.”

 

Read Faye’s full story here


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How about you? What is the best part and what is the worst part about working for yourself?

7 Comments
Community Manager

Re: 5 British Entrepreneurs Share the Worst & Best Parts of Being Their Own Boss

The worst part of working for myself is when I'm tapped out of ideas. I find sometimes I get to work and everything flows... and then other times it's just simply a lost cause and everything I need to do is taking 12 times longer than it should. It's hard sometimes as a self-employed person to know when to push through and when to back off... without someone else there holding you accountable that day for any particular thing. Does anyone else have this happen to them?

Community Host

Re: 5 British Entrepreneurs Share the Worst & Best Parts of Being Their Own Boss


@ShanaNiederman wrote:

The worst part of working for myself is when I'm tapped out of ideas. I find sometimes I get to work and everything flows... and then other times it's just simply a lost cause and everything I need to do is taking 12 times longer than it should. It's hard sometimes as a self-employed person to know when to push through and when to back off... without someone else there holding you accountable that day for any particular thing. Does anyone else have this happen to them?


 

@Sangeethmathew@ElaineTay-TGW@Pen, - can you relate??

Pen
Frequent Contributor

Re: 5 British Entrepreneurs Share the Worst & Best Parts of Being Their Own Boss

Gods Yes! 

 

Especially right now when we haven't even gotten the company up and going yet; we are still just laying the foundation and preparing for our "grand opening". We have our one customer, but he is so easy to maintain it is ridiculous. Knowing what to do next without any direction is difficult. What is the most important thing to do next? What if I don't feel like doing that today?  I am my own boss. I could just walk away from it and no one would know but me. And to be honest, I don't know how I am powering through. I just keep jumping from one timer to the next and challenging myself to get 'x' done before it does. I know I need to start making some kind of agenda for myself, but I don't even know where to begin with that. 

 

Sorry guys. I know I usually have something more positive to say, but this is actually one of those things I have been struggling with a lot lately. My business partner is not really able to help right now because of some personal issues and so I don't even have her holding me accountable at the moment. C'est la vie. 

Community Host

Re: 5 British Entrepreneurs Share the Worst & Best Parts of Being Their Own Boss

@Pen, when I read @ShanaNiederman's comment I thought of you right away! You're launching your business with a partner, right? Are you generally on the same page when it comes to defining priorities and next steps, and how do you divvy up the tasks? Are you holding each other accountable for staying on track or trusting each other to just to "get it done"?

Contributor

Re: 5 British Entrepreneurs Share the Worst & Best Parts of Being Their Own Boss

Hey,

We always make plans before we start a business. So we are full of ideas initially. As time goes we run out of them. How to come out of that inertia is always a challenge.

One method that has worked at times for me is like think of some thing random and non related.  

- Like a line in a movie you like

- Like a lyric

- Like some thing you would like to speak in front of a crowd

- etc etc

or any thing.

If you get to that you will in some time get your ideas too. 

Community Host

Re: 5 British Entrepreneurs Share the Worst & Best Parts of Being Their Own Boss

I love that, @Sangeethmathew! I know it's hard to come up with an example on the spot, but if you think of a scrap of song lyric or a movie line that has given you an idea for your business I'd love to hear it Smiley Happy

Content Creator

Re: 5 British Entrepreneurs Share the Worst & Best Parts of Being Their Own Boss

That's a great reminder @Sangeethmathew that sometimes the simplest phrase can be powerful enough to change perspective. I used to be a competitive swimmer and a teammate painted me this little sign meant for training encouragement. It read: "If it is to be, it's up to me!" And I STILL invoke that phrase years later when I start to lack motivation or I feel blah in all different aspects of my life.